ELHAS News - January 2018

Meting Report January 2018

For our first meeting of 2018 we were delighted to welcome local and family history tutor Jackie Depelle. Jackie has been working in the city for over 20 years and was a familiar face to many in the audience who had attended her courses in the past.

For this evening's talk Jackie took us on a virtual tour of the Moravian settlement at Fulneck, a place which was not well known to some members of the audience. She began her talk with a short introduction to the history of the Moravian Church and the founding of the settlement. She explained that the Moravian Church was founded in Bohemia in 1457 by John Hus, a Catholic who was at odds with his church due to his belief that people should be able to read the bible in their own language and be free from the superstitions of the medieval church. He was later martyred for his beliefs.

The settlement was founded in 1743 by Count Zindandorf, aided by Benjamin Ingham a member of the Oxford group of Methodists. The land selected for the settlement was Fallneck near Pudsey and was originally called Lambshilll, it was later renamed Fulneck after a town in Bohemia. Having given us this brief introduction Jackie proceeded to show some lovely images of the beautiful stone built 18th century buildings. Beginning with the terrace, a grade one listed structure some eighth of a mile in length, she explained how this was built up over the years by the addition of buildings to infill the spaces between the original buildings. She also showed exterior and internal shots of the school and church.

Describing the school as internationally famous she mentioned some famous people who had attended there such as Herbert Asquith and Dame Diana Rigg, although she was at pains to point out that Diana Rigg was unhappy during the time she spent there. We were entranced at the beautiful interior shots of the church as Jackie described that some of the furniture was made by Robert Thompson, the Mouseman of Kilburn, and the communion table was also a memorial for all from the settlement who had lost their lives during World War One. Showing us many more shots of the cottages she explained that all the buildings were owned by the church and rented out except for one privately owned home, Hus Cottage.

However what we really enjoyed about this talk was Jackie's many personal memories of the village as she described being brought there, and we realised how much the village meant to her. It is obviously a close knit, caring community which still casts its spell over the 21st century. Some members of the audience who were not familiar with the village were encouraged to discover that the settlement does in fact welcome visitors and no doubt plans were made to make the trip there to see it for themselves.

The next meeting on Monday 26th February 2018 will be an illustrated talk by Neil Redfern Principal Inspector for Historic England entitled "Heritage Management: Preservation or Creativity".

Image courtesy of Bob Lawrence